Nearly three years ago, a young prospective student toured campus and noticed more than the traditional stops at the freshman dorms or the Blue Horseshoe. Looking around, the young man noticed an evolving campus, one without the new student service center or the recently constructed science building.
Now MTSU’s Attorney General, Caleb Gray, a 20-year-old political science major from Loudon, Tennessee, says the change he saw while visiting campus is what led to his involvement with student government.
“I wanted to be a part of that,” he said, in retrospect to his first campus visit. “I wanted to see the change firsthand.”
As attorney general, Gray primarily deals with an issue the student body can relate to: parking, or, more specifically, parking tickets.
While he doesn’t personally distribute the dreadful yellow envelopes onto vehicles, Gray says he handles close to 60 parking violation appeals per day. From there, the student has two options: allow Gray to singularly hear out the complaint or choose to attend a traffic court date with the SGA Court of Traffic Appeals, a court compiled of 211 justices chosen from “a diverse group of students with diverse perspectives.”
And as one may imagine, with the first option, confrontation goes along with the job description. For Gray’s personality, though, he says it doesn’t bother him.
“This is the ideal job for me,” Gray said. “When I took this position, I wanted to do it effectively and from an unbiased viewpoint, and honestly, I’m really good at communicating and hearing out the concerns of others, even if the majority aren’t happy.”
Gray says he has three reasons per the SGA Constitution that allow him to appeal tickets: ticket writing errors, no campus permit and emergency situations.
Additionally, Gray says he would like to add to the position by serving as an advocate for students.
“If I can do my job while providing a voice for the students,” he said, “I will feel as [though] I’ve accomplished more in this position.”
On days when Gray isn’t in the SGA office, he can be found interning twice a week at the Governors Office of Constituent Services in Nashville, but assures that he’s always “a phone call away.”
“I’m busy every day of the week, but that’s okay with my personality type,” he said. “I’m a ‘people-person,’ and that’s an important quality for the attorney general to have.”
Along with his duties as attorney general, Gray is currently head delegate of Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL), a course that, through SGA, helped organize Constitution Day and a voter registration drive.
After exhausting his position, something he considers a “full-time job,” Gray says he will graduate a year early with plans of pursuing a joint degree in law and business at Vanderbilt University.
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